Barbara Nelson is a scientific review officer (SRO) in the Office of Scientific Review at NCATS. She joined NIH in 2004 as an SRO in the Office of Review at the National Center for Research Resources. Prior to joining NIH, Nelson was a senior research scientist and the principal laboratory manager for the Department of Pre-Clinical Sciences at EntreMed, Inc., in Rockville, Maryland, where she was involved in the development of anti-angiogenic drug candidates. Her pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo studies resulted in investigational new drug applications to the FDA, Phase I clinical trials and two patents.
Nelson received a B.A in microbiology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She was awarded a New Jersey State Teacher Certificate in Comprehensive Science for grades K–12 and holds a Maryland State Advanced Professional Teacher Certificate in biology/general science for grades 7–12. She received her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Her studies focused on the cellular immune responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Nelson was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Immunology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Washington, D.C., and was then awarded a National Research Council postdoctoral research associate position in the Department of Cellular Immunology at WRAIR.
Nelson’s research interests include cellular immunology and immunomodulation of specific and nonspecific immunity, focusing on macrophages and host defense effector activities and mechanisms. Her work also involved the field of angiogenesis — specifically, studying the effects of anti-angiogenics on endothelial cell functions in vitro and on tumor models in vivo.